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29 11 2016 - Media release

$15 million for fifteen projects: Screen Australia’s latest film and TV funding round includes Fred Schepisi’s Andorra and a remake of 1976 classic Storm Boy


The latest round of Screen Australia funding supports a diverse slate of stories that venture across the globe and cater to all kinds of audiences - from family-friendly content like the remake of Australian classic Storm Boy and season two of The Secret Daughter, bold war dramas Jirga and Fighting Season, romantic thriller Andorra, the music biopic Friday On My Mind and sports drama Sunshine.

Seven films and eight television series were approved for production investment funding at the latest Screen Australia board meeting on Friday November 11, totalling more than $15 million in funding.

Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia said: “This is a bumper slate of titles for our last production investment funding round of the calendar year. We are delighted to be supporting TV projects from so many of the major players all in one round including Foxtel, Channel Seven, Network Ten, the ABC and SBS. And in film we look forward to seeing the latest from acclaimed talents Fred Schepisi, Jonathan Teplitzky and John Maynard.”

The successful feature film projects are:

  • An inspired and contemporary re-imagining of the 1976 classic family film Storm Boy from writer Justin Monjo (The Secret Daughter, Spear), director Shawn Seet (Deep Water, The Code) and Ambience Entertainment producers Michael Boughen and Matthew Street (Tomorrow When the War Began – 2016 TV series and 2010 film). This time around we first meet Mike ‘Storm Boy’ Kingley as a grandfather who recounts his childhood adventures to his conflicted teenage granddaughter, and how his life changed forever when he formed a special bond with orphaned pelican Mr Percival. 
  • The authentic war film Jirga, which marks the second feature from writer/director Benjamin Gilmour following his acclaimed 2007 debut Son of a Lion. Produced by John Maynard (Sherpa, Balibo), Jirga follows an Australian soldier who returns to Afghanistan to make amends for the death of an unarmed civilian he accidentally killed in combat. Gilmour has already filmed extensively in Afghanistan under dangerous conditions.
  • From Golden Globe winning director Fred Schepisi (Empire Falls, The Devil’s Playground) comes Andorra, a romantic thriller with an all-star cast including Guy Pearce and Toni Collette, alongside Gillian Anderson, Clive Owen and Joanna Lumley. Pearce will play Alexander Fox, a bookseller who leaves the US to begin a new life abroad but quickly becomes embroiled in a mysterious local murder.
  • Action-packed crime caper Mr Cranky will reunite director Jonathan Teplitzky (The Railway Man, Indian Summers) with producer Chris Brown (The Railway Man, Daybreakers) and writer Chris Nyst (Gettin’ Square). Set on the Gold Coast, it centres on underworld debt collector Kevin Darcy who finds himself unexpectedly saddled with his ex-girlfriend’s precocious seven-year-old daughter, setting him off on a path to enlightenment – albeit one littered with hit men and Hells Angels. With Screen Queensland support. 

A further three feature film projects have received conditional funding and will be announced at a later stage.

The successful television drama projects are:

  • The Bureau of Magical Things, a brand new children’s series for Network Ten from hugely successful children’s content producer Jonathan M. Shiff (Mako: Island of Secrets, Lightning Point, H20: Just Add Water) and Stuart Wood (H20: Just Add Water). The story, about a teenage girl named Kyra who uncovers a magical world, will be brought to life by director Evan Clarry (Mako: Island of Secrets, Sam Fox: Extreme Adventures) and writer Mark Shirrefs (The New Adventures of Figaro Pho).
  • Season 2 of Channel Seven’s ratings winner The Secret Daughter starring Jessica Mauboy as country pub singer Billie Carter. The new season from producers Kerrie Mainwaring (Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, Catching Milat) and Lauren Edwards (Cleverman, The Sapphires) will uncover what the future holds for Billie, who turned her back on a potential music career and a romance with Jamie in the finale after discovering wealthy hotelier Jack Norton was not her father. 
  • Fighting Season from Goalpost Pictures for Foxtel, from producer Kylie du Fresne (Cleverman, Holding The Man, The Sapphires) and writer Blake Ayshford (Barracuda, Devil’s Playground, The Code). The six-part drama series explores the life of the modern soldier. It centres on a platoon who return to Australia from Afghanistan after a controversial combat mission goes wrong and must adapt to their jarringly domestic life back home. With Screen NSW support. 
  • Two-part ABC biopic miniseries Friday On My Mind by Playmaker Media’s highly successful producing duo David Taylor and David Maher (The Wrong Girl, The Code, Love Child, House Husbands). It will tell the story of 1960s legendary Sydney rock-and-roll band The Easybeats, formed by five disparate immigrant boys who came together to create the nation’s first truly international band. With Screen NSW support. 
  • SBS drama series Sunshine from Essential Media and Entertainment. Set in a working class suburb of Melbourne, talented basketball player Jacob Chagai lives within the South Sudanese community and dreams of playing for the NBA. Written by Matt Cameron (Secret City, Jack Irish) and Elise McCredie (Stateless, Nowhere Boys), and produced by Doctor Doctor’s Ian Collie and Carver Films’ duo Sarah Shaw and Anna McLeish (Snowtown), this four-part series immerses the viewer in a criminal investigation, a high stakes sports game, and the simmering tensions of an ethnically diverse community. 
  • Psychological thriller Safe Harbour from Matchbox Pictures for SBS, produced by Stephen Corvini (Hyde & Seek, Better Man) and written by Belinda Chayko (Barracuda, Secret City), Phil Enchelmaier (Mako: Island of Secrets) and Matt Cameron (Secret City, Molly). The story follows a group of Australian friends who come face-to-face with a boat of desperate asylum seekers while on a yachting holiday from Darwin to Indonesia, leading to a tragic series of events that returns to haunt them five years later. With Screen Queensland support. 

A further two television projects were also approved and will be announced in the coming months.

Click here for more information about this round of feature film projects

Click here for more information about this round of television projects

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